Jackson councilman soundly defeats two opponents
Jackson Councilman Alex Sauickie III, who has a checkered reputation vis-à-vis the Orthodox Jewish community, easily won a special election convention to succeed the late Assemblyman Ron Dancer, defeating Plumsted Committeeman Dominick Cuozzo and former Jackson Councilman Scott Martin.
Sauickie received 106 votes to Cuozzo’s 44, with Martin getting only 3.
Sauickie was unofficially endorsed by the state Republican establishment and Dancer’s widow. Cuozzo was backed by Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, whose grip on power in the county remains shaky.
The vote was held among more than 150 committee members from Ocean, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Burlington Counties; Burlington represents around 10% of the district’s population, while the other three counties each represent around 30%.
It is not known which counties went for Sauickie, but the fact that he won despite not having Gilmore’s backing and his strained relations with Jackson’s Orthodox Jewish population indicates that he enjoys robust support among the rest of the district.
When Sauickie will officially join the legislature is up to Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. The Assembly has been on break since June and has no upcoming sessions planned.
Sauickie was also chosen as the Republican nominee for the 12th district special election to be held in November. The seat is considered a safe Republican win.